Guest Blog by Chris Palermo
Growing up in San Francisco, California and attending college in the state of Indiana, I became fascinated between the societal differences between the two regions. Ranging from more substantial issues such as politics to smaller ones such as calling a carbonated beverage “soda” or “pop,” many differences became apparent. This perspective and eye for detail were one of many drivers for the idea that became the Explore! mobile game. How could we deliver fun, educational experiences for everyone independent of their interests, upbringing or geography?
The Explore! Difference
Augmented reality is revolutionary and allows users to touch and interact with virtual, 3D content, overlaid in the real world. This technology is foundational to our mobile educational game that brings together the worlds of tabletop card games and augmented reality.
Packs of Explore! Cards will contain a wide variety of content ranging from our playable characters like Atom and Annedroid to the educational assets they will be interacting with: batteries, light bulbs, and many more! As players view these cards through their mobile device, their content will appear in 3D on the screen, where they may then interact with it. Through completing challenges, players will conduct experiments with these cards and receive feedback, through prompts and idea cards, to reinforce learning moments throughout their journey. Students will watch their characters and creations come to life on screen as they become immersed in our fun, educational storyline. The result of this combination will create an inclusive learning an environment where students may learn through visual, auditory, and tactile (physical touch) methods, allowing students to learn in a way that is most effective to them.
Understanding what matters
When beginning any project, it is critical to understand what matters to our users and customers. To improve our insight into the needs of our potential customers, we conducted user testing events in both California and Indiana.
In the Silicon Valley, we found augmented reality to be understood by many and received with open arms. While out in the midwest, it was met with much more curiosity and inquisitiveness. Both regions, however, understood the potential that interactive educational content had on their children’s and student’s education. Not all parents and teachers view or understand technology (especially augmented reality) the same, but they all want their students to succeed and receive the best education they can. These experiences of listening to and observing children and parents as they interacted with our product led to the one key takeaway – educational content would be crucial to our success!
Standards-based learning that’s fun!
Is the Explore! Mobile Game fun and engaging for kids? Yes! Even more than that; our staff of educators incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) state standards into all of our content. As a result of this, players will help Atom and Ann in their exciting adventure to take on the evil Doctor Stonebreaker, and learn while they do it.
So no matter where you are from, whether you understand augmented reality or not, or if you call soda “pop,” Explore! educational games are designed for you and making sure your child or student can effectively learn STEM concepts while having fun!